New dial shows the risk of COVID-19 in Lincoln

City officials on Monday unveiled a dial that shows the perceived risk of COVID-19 in Lincoln. 
Covid Dial

City officials on Monday unveiled a dial that shows the perceived risk of COVID-19 in Lincoln and the surrounding area.

The COVID-19 Risk Dial provides a summary of current conditions in the Lincoln-Lancaster County community. Each color incorporates federal and national guidance published by top public health experts and is coupled with specific guidance.

The dial includes recommendations for when you are at home and outside your home, as well as specific guidance for those who are considered at risk or vulnberable. The dial provides guidance only, and  does not replace federal, state, or local directed health measures. At-risk and vulnerable populations should take stringent precautions, city officials said.

Gaylor Baird introduced the dial at her afternoon press conference, after voicing her continued displeasure about the fact the directed health measure for Lancaster County was not granted an extension by state officials.

“This dial will help guide us forward in the coming months,” she said. “And it will provide the public with a data-driven approach that goes beyond the cold calculus of whether or not there is a ventilator or ICU bed waiting for you if you get sick.”

Gaylor Baird said Lincoln did not meeting “key criteria” from a number of local and federal health organizations, including the White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when she requested the extension.

“Understanding and fully acknowledging this, Director Lopez and I sought to extend the timeline for our previous directed health measure further into May,” she said. “An extension the state flatly rejected.”

Restaurants and hair salons were among the business allowed to reopen Monday, despite concerns from many that it is too soon to do so.

Despite being able to reopen, Gaylor Baird said many houses of worship and businesses have decided not to.

“Our community is listening to our local message of caution and focusing not on what they can do, but what they should do,” she said.

Over the last 10 days, COVID-19 cases have more than doubled in Lancaster County. The positivity rate has risen to just under 10%, Interim Director of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department Pat Lopez said.

Fourty cases were announced Monday, with 208 of the total 647 cases linked to the outbreak at Smithfield Foods in Crete.

“Restrictions have eased but the threat from this virus has not,” Lopez said.

You can find a link to the COVID-19 Risk Dial here: click here.



Categories: Coronavirus, Health, Lancaster, News